Having reached the Division III state meet the last two seasons, Luke Evans will be ready for his final season with the Grandview Heights High School boys track and field team.
The junior finished 10th in the 1,600 meters in 4 minutes, 27.99 seconds in the state meet held June 7 and 8 at Ohio State and teamed with senior Chase Gage, sophomore Ryan McHugh and junior Josh Smith to finish 11th in the 3,200 relay (8:19.31).
Evans also was on the 3,200 relay that finished 13th (8:21.4) in 2012.
"It was a great experience and now I know what to expect (in an individual event)," Evans said of competing at state in the 1,600. "Now I know how to run the race, and I know I can run a smarter race. The crowd can also be intimidating if you are not ready for it."
Also competing at state for the boys team was sophomore Grant Varner, who finished 13th in the shot put in a personal-best 49 feet, 9 1/2 inches.
Sophomore Ali Lachey led the girls team at state, finishing ninth in the 1,600 (5:19.88).
"Next year, I'll need to keep training hard," she said. "I'll need to stay positive mentally and trust my training. That will help me through it."
Coach Brian Schoch said Evans and Lachey faced similar obstacles in their respective 1,600 races.
"Both races were similar because both were very fast," Schoch said. "Those were two of the fastest races in the mile that I have seen at the Division III level. They both ran aggressively and were trying to get into the top eight. They were close to that and (close) to reaching their (personal records)."
Also at state for the girls team, the 3,200 relay of Lachey, senior Anna Davis and juniors Laura Satterthwaite and Halli Bair finished 14th (10:00.51), the 800 relay of sophomore Emma Hecker, senior Lindsey Smith, Davis and sophomore Emily Burns was 14th (1:51.58) and the 1,600 relay of Bair, senior Julie Menke, Lachey and Burns was 15th (4:14.19).
Neither the boys team nor girls team scored at state. Columbus Academy won the boys title with 49 points as 67 teams scored, and Versailles scored 28 points to win the girls championship as 75 teams scored.
In the regional meet May 29 and 31 at Fairfield Union, the girls team finished fifth (36.5) behind champion Academy (63) as 43 teams scored and the boys team finished 10th (22) behind champion Academy (89) as 41 teams scored.
For the girls team, Lachey was runner-up in the 1,600 (5:17.44), the 3,200 relay placed second (9:53.92), the 800 relay of Bair, Smith, Davis and Burns was second (1:49.87) and the 1,600 relay was third (4:09.1).
Also competing at regional for the girls team were Menke in the 100 hurdles (ninth, 16.97) and 300 hurdles (10th, 49.52), sophomore Morgan Ettrich in the pole vault (fifth, 8-3) and sophomore Madison Osborne in the pole vault (tied for sixth, 8-0).
The top four finishers in each regional event advanced to state.
For the boys team, Evans was runner-up in the 1,600 (4:27.32), the 3,200 relay placed second (8:18.91) and Varner was fourth in the shot put (48-6 1/2).
Also competing at regional were Evans in the 3,200 (eighth, 10:03.84), McHugh in the 3,200 (ninth, 10:16.17), Gage in the 800 (ninth, 2:03.08), the 1,600 relay of senior Payton Jones, senior Tyler Mosier, Smith and Gage (10th, 3:36.69) and Smith in the 800 (12th, 2:05.24).
The boys team finished second (90) in the 17-team district 2 meet that concluded May 25 at Hamilton Township behind Fairbanks (134) and the girls team was runner-up (66.5) in the 32-team district behind Academy (96.5).
The girls team won the MSL-Cardinal Division title for the sixth consecutive season. The Bobcats scored 180 points in the league meet May 15 and 17 to finish ahead of host Licking Heights (138.5), Liberty Union (89), Fisher Catholic (64.5), Berne Union (62), Millersport (50), West Jefferson (46) and Harvest Prep (14).
The boys team finished third (104) in the league meet, behind Liberty Union (156) and Licking Heights (119) and ahead of Berne Union (70), Millersport (68), Fisher Catholic (66), West Jefferson (37) and Harvest Prep (35).
The boys team loses eight seniors, including Gage, Jones and Mosier, and the girls team loses seven seniors, including Davis, Menke and Smith.
"Every year, you always lose kids who have been helpful to the program, and this year is no exception," Schoch said. "Now you have to figure out how to replace those integral parts and still be successful.
"We have a lot coming back and they are in a lot of different areas. We have a lot to look forward to next year."